Have you ever met someone who was a total showboater? Always boasting, to anyone within earshot, of his or her own accomplishments? That kind of person can be annoying, to put it mildly, and most of us find showboating to be a turnoff. It’s certainly not the sort of behavior that inspires loyalty, or makes us want to be a member of that person’s team.
For the successful leader, humility is key. That’s because we’re more prone to follow someone who quietly shows knowledge, skill, and vision, rather than trumpeting it from the rooftops.
As an executive coach, one of my own areas of focus is on transformational leadership, and I’ll be so bold as to say that humility is one of the most precious and most elusive traits for transformational leaders. Let me try to explain, in a bit more detail, what makes humility so crucial.
Why Humility is Crucial for Great Leadership
Humility is a form of authenticity. We all make mistakes. We’re all, at the end of the day, only human. When you’re humble, it conveys that you’re aware of your own limitations; when you’re a showboater, it suggests that you’re not as aware, and that kind of person just isn’t as relatable. People want to follow a leader who can be real about his or her own shortcomings, and who gives team members permission to be likewise.
Humility leads to a collaborative, team-driven approach. The egomaniac will seize power as a platform for abuse, but the humble leader will delegate, empower, and encourage other team members to contribute their own great ideas.
The humble leader will promote others. Rather than always wanting to be the top dog, a humble leader will help team members rise to new levels of influence and prestige.
Humble leaders are grateful. Humility allows you to step back and acknowledge how much you depend on the other members of your team—and to truly thank them.
Humility suggests integrity. Leaders are more likely to be people of integrity if they rose to their leadership role through hard work and humility, rather than through bravado and self-promotion.
Are You a Humble Leader?
Humility is the calling card of many a great leader—and it can be your hallmark, too. Working with an executive coach can help you develop the best traits for leadership success. Reach out to me any time to learn more!